Thousands of migrants trek through perilous minefields to reach EU countries

Thousands of migrants are trying to reach countries inside the European Union through the minefields that line the border between Bosnia and Croatia.

An estimated 18,000 migrants arrived in Bosnia this year compared to fewer than a thousand in 2017.

Most of them are heading for Croatia.

Hundreds of refugees are now crammed into two camps along the North Western border - hoping to cross into the country.

Many choose to risk their lives on foot through the perilous minefields - where 130,000 devices from the Bosnian war remain hidden.

Authorities still work everyday to clear minefields at the border. Credit: ITV News

Authorities still work everyday to clear the minefields and there is a greater urgency as the border becomes the new favoured route into Europe for thousands of migrants and refugees.

Zdravko Modrusan, Director of the Croatian Centre for De-Mining, told ITV News: "Of course you can hide in the minefields but you do risk your life."

These warnings also act as a steer where migrants can travel without being detected by police. Credit: PA

The Croatian authorities have produce a mobile app which alerts you when you are near a mine field.

Refugees can use this app to avoid mines but also where the police cannot go.

Thousands of migrants and refugees are holed up at the border with the Balkan winter just weeks away. Credit: ITV News

On the Bosnian side of the border, it is clear to see why so many are taking the dangerous route.

Two refugees fleeing war in Afghanistan have taken the risk at least half a dozen times but picked up by Croatian police each time and sent back to Bosnia.

They told ITV News Europe Editor James Mates that the risk is worth it "because we don't have another choice - we want to go."

Some migrants reportedly cannot understand warning signs relating to mines. Credit: ITV News

But, the dangers are very real.

Refik Sabotic, Head of Bosnian Police in Bahic, told ITV News: "It's very dangerous because we have information that migrants do not recognise a sign for minefields - it is very, very dangerous for them."